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August 07, 2005

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kim

Sorry, JBG, I know you would prefer it, but Iraq is not about to become a satrapy of Iran. You just betray your well of ignorance to promote that.

And what do you suppose Saddam would have done after the inspectors had given him a clean bill of health? Have you read what Claudia Rosett and Charles Duelfer had to say about his intentions? Are you with Etienne in believing he should still be in power there? C'mon, get out, you apparently haven't been since Michael Moore was strutting his sorry stuff.
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jukeboxgrad

SYL: "We should also look at the elements in Arab societies that are hopeful about positive change towards democracy"

I'd like to hear someone explain why Arab states that are democratic will necessarily be pro-US interests and anti-terrorism.

"I think there are many elements of arab society who view us more favorably than the elites in Europe do."

That's not saying much, is it? Anyway, could you let us know where you see meaningful signs that "many elements of arab society" view the US favorably?

"The Islamists don't want any infidel at all on soil they claim as theirs, so they're not going to be happy no matter what we do"

It sounds like you're ruling out the possiblity that US troops would withdraw from the Arab world. Is that what you're trying to say?

"this 'Bush Lied' business is getting silly"

What's silly is you resorting to various forms of ranting and raving as a way to avoid some very straightforward factual challenges.

"Obviously JBG is someone who can't tell the difference between a 5 Billion Dollar contract and actual profits."

Obviously Syl is someone who's determined to keep his eyes closed while he's being robbed blind.

"Halliburton makes a profit of only a few million a year."

I guess that's why Halliburton's latest report brags about "record operating income of $607 million," and that's just for three months (pdf). Of course not all of that is Iraq-related KBR profits, but a lot of it is.

I guess for you 600 million in three months somehow translates into "a few million a year." This has to be added to the "righties have better command of the facts and logic" hit parade.

"It is only profits that go to shareholders."

When a company has a soaring stock price certain stockholders reap benefits far in excess of their share of the profits. This is especially true for certain people who hold large numbers of stock options. Like Cheney, for example (link, link). Halliburton stock has roughly tripled since the war started. How's your 401k doing?

"The rest of money goes to sub-contractors"

Yes, pretty much anyone who knew to show up at the right time and place with duffel bags to haul off hundreds of tons of cash. Meanwhile, troops end up relying on getting equipment through donations ("My partner and I have shelled out thousands on gear and we are still in need....," link), and we're still relying on "hillbilly armor."

Yes, the folks in charge of this war know exactly what they're doing, and they're laughing all the way to the country club.

"I am now putting you on virtual ignore."

I'm mortified. That means that instead of ignoring factual challenges in messages you've read, you'll be ignoring factual challenges in messages you haven't read. That will make an enormous difference to me, I can tell you right now.

Seven Machos

Kim -- The Jukemeister only knows that he hates George W. Bush. Any policy of Bush's is bad.

The War in Iraq. Bad.
Increased government spending. Bad.
Lower taxes. Bad.
Making Social Security solvent. Bad.

It's the messenger, not the message.

Seven Machos

Yes, Jukemeister, that's Syl: ranting and raving. You: cold, precise, logical, brief.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "they [OSP as well as CIA] were all saying essentially the same thing"

Nice job trying to rewrite history. If what you say were true, Bush would not have needed OSP. The effort to create OSP came "against a backdrop of persistent differences between the Pentagon and CIA over assessments of Iraq. Rumsfeld and senior aides have argued that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein has strong links to international terrorism, poses an imminent threat and cannot be constrained from eventually unleashing weapons of mass destruction. The CIA's publicly released reports have painted a murkier view of Iraq's links to al Qaeda, its weapons capabilities and the likelihood that Hussein would use chemical or biological weapons unless attacked." As a fellow named Gerecht said, "They don't think the product they receive from the agency is always what it should be." (link)

"it's clear from the NIE that wasn't the case"

You're saying the NIE unequivocally treated Saddam as a terrible threat. It's not nearly that simple. The classified version of the NIE (which didn't become available until later) contained "cautionary language about Iraq's connections with al Qaeda and warnings about the reliability of conflicting reports by Iraqi defectors and captured al Qaeda members about the ties" (link).

Here are some examples of sentences which were mysteriously withheld when the earlier (unclassified) version was being created: "We lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD program ... We have low confidence in our ability to assess when Saddam would use WMD."

A good analysis comparing the two versions of the NIE is here.

In other words, it appears that the NIE was manipulated, like lots of other things.

You quote the WaPo saying "no evidence that CIA analysts colored their judgment because of perceived or actual political pressure." However, this same WaPo report also says "There were instances before the war in which intelligence analysts said they sensed pressure to reach certain conclusions, but the House and Senate investigators said there was no indication they bowed to such wishes."

As Trelaney said, it's no surprise that analysts were not prepared to sacrifice their careers by appearing before congress pointing fingers at Bush. It's surprising that they even had the courage to say "they sensed pressure to reach certain conclusions."

By the way, not everyone agrees that analysts did not respond to pressure. This is what Cannistraro said: "Over a long period of time, there was a subtle process of pressure and intimidation until people started giving them what was wanted . . . . When the Senate Intelligence Committee interviewed, under oath, over 100 analysts, not one of them said, ‘I changed my assessment because of pressure.' . . . The environment was conditioned in such a way that the analyst subtly leaned toward the conceits of the policymakers. . . .The intelligence community was vulnerable to the aggressiveness of neoconservative policymakers, particularly at the Pentagon and at the VP's office. As one analyst said to me, ‘You can't fight something with nothing, and those people had something. Whether it was right or wrong, fraudulent or specious, it almost didn't make any difference, because the policymakers believed it already, and if you didn't have hard countervailing evidence to persuade them, then you were at a loss.'"

By the way, even if individual analysts didn't change their reports, there was sufficient manipulation at higher levels so that Bush got what he wanted (as via the NIE). Hence Tenet's medal.

Seven Machos

Income does not equal profit does not equal revenue.

Journalists often fail to perceive the difference. The Jukemeister certainly cannot see the difference.

jukeboxgrad

PARKER: "little of what she reported was ever corraborated and there were no weapons"

Good insight into Miller's long history as a neocon shill can be found here. That darn liberal media.

STEVE MG: "CIA critics of the Bush Administration would never leak to the NY Times."

I'm sure that "CIA critics of the Bush Administration" have certain people they like to call at the NYT, and the Bush administration itself has certain people it likes to call at the NYT (like Miller). But let us know when a call by the former group had the result of outing an agent.

kim

OK, JBG, back to PolySci 101. If a people are blessed with self-determination they are less likely to resent their situation in life so much that they will blow themselves and others up.

Quiz next week. For you and Etienne. You are way behind on your reading.
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Seven Machos

Anybody who thinks that Iran and Iraq are going to suddenly become allies after several hundred years of enmity is showing themselves to be an utter dunce.

What's next? A Turkish-Greek alliance against the U.S.? A Sino-Chinese-Russian axis against the U.S.?

kim

Michiganders will root for the Buckeyes.
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Marcel

Judith Miller at some point lost her objectivity as a reporter and became a conduit for war propaganda. If the New York Times doesn't work out for her, Ms. Miller would fit in well at Fox News.

Tommy V

Juke:

"Unless I missed it somewhere, you have still not come clean about this: "

Yes, you missed it. As you would say, "nice job ignoring what I wrote", Apparently, you were too busy crowding the post with your masturbation.

It was corrected before you felt it necessary to even get involved.

Juke, you're a child. You referenced me specifically even though my post was clearly directed to someone else. I wish you had not. Now, I have to actually deal with this, but no more. This is it.

You have absolutely no interest in conversing with anyone here. You want to jack off with previously written selections, canned responses, and links that don't actually back up what you say.

I stand by what I say and I will let people judge me based on that. I think people can do the same with you. I will take that comparsion any day.

You are dishonest, and because of that you have not been able to display whether you are as intelligent and insightful as you want us to think you are. You have added nothing to this conversation other than length. Your links do not back up what you say, and actually prove that have delibrately changed their meaning in your translation.

You are a fake and I believe that you know this. Otherwise you wouldn't be compensating so much.

You are in desperate need of your own blog where people can actually choose to visit with you or not. As people get older they usually lose interest in making things less pleasent for other people as some tool for self-aggrandizing. This clearly has not happened to you yet.

(Since you keep referencing this with such bizarre glee I will save you through suffering through your own novellas in the other post, the dictionary on my beloved Mac reads :

unedifying |ˌənˈedəˌfī-i ng | adjective (esp. of an event taking place in public) distasteful; unpleasant : the unedifying sight of the two leaders screeching conflicting proposals.

It's true what they say, isn't? People who lie always assume others are doing the same.)

Seven Machos

A view into Marcel's mind:

Information tending to support the wisdom of the war in Iraq = PROPAGANDA

Information tending to challenge the wisdom of the war in Iraq = TRUTH

It must be nice to live in such a black-and-white world.

kim

He doesn't understand his dishonesty. He's not obviously cynical. He's just a robot that is badly programmed.
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Seven Machos

Tommy is right. The Jukemeister adds nothing to the debate.

Jukemeister: I think it's time that you got a job, and stopped pestering the people here.

kim

Hey Mr Wrongtunemachine Man, play a song for me.
I'll admit the conversing's been fun with thee.
Make fewer the links.
For you, it's a jinx.
When you say what you think, though it's wrong, I can see.
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Cecil Turner

"Nice job trying to rewrite history."

Are you claiming the CIA estimate didn't portray Saddam as a WMD threat? Nonsense.

"You're saying the NIE unequivocally treated Saddam as a terrible threat. It's not nearly that simple."

Umm, yeah, it is. Just reading the "High Confidence" findings:

  • "Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions."
  • "We are not detecting portions of these weapons programs."
  • Iraq possesses proscribed chemical and biological weapons and missiles."
  • "Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year once it acquires sufficient weapons-grad fissile material" [emphasis added]
"Let us know if there was a single intelligence agency, including our own, that assessed the threat as so immediate and dramatic that we couldn't wait another couple of months to let the inspectors continue to work."

Intelligence agencies evaluate threats . . . they don't tell what to do about them. They all evaluated Iraq as a continuing WMD threat. And your apparent belief that the inspectors continuing to work would have solved the problem stands in stark contrast to the after-action reviews, which concluded the opposite. According to Butler:

[The Iraqi regime] Had the strategic intention of resuming the pursuit of prohibited weapons programmes, including if possible its nuclear weapons programme, when United Nations inspection regimes were relaxed and sanctions were eroded or lifted.
Duelfer found precisely the same thing:
Saddam Husayn so dominated the Iraqi Regime that its strategic intent was his alone. He wanted to end sanctions while preserving the capability to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when sanctions were lifted.

kim

And Rosett details the manner in which Saddam was subverting the French, Germans, and Russians in the Oil-for-Food scandal in order to get the sanctions lifted. I'm not surprised you didn't know this stuff. MSM downplayed it or ignored it.
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Syl

Since when does operating income = profit?

::scratching head::

jukeboxgrad

SYL: "Since when does operating income = profit?"

Since when did you think a question like that will get you off the hook on which you placed yourself?

There's a reasonable case to be made that net income is profit, rather than operating income. As I've said, which one to choose depends on the circumstances of the company, and the factors that account for the difference between the two numbers. In any case, you have a hard time claiming that it's not one or the other. And as I've pointed out, the numbers for Halliburton, for the recent quarter, are operating income of $607 million and net income of $392 million. I could explain why the former figure is more meaningful in this instance, but it would be silly to bother because even the latter number is more than high enough to serve the purpose for which I'm raising it.

So I'll we waiting patiently for your explanation for how either of these numbers bears even a remote relation to the ridiculous claim you made: "Halliburton makes a profit of only a few million a year."

Since at this rate their profit this year will be over a billion, is it possible that's the word you meant to type? Maybe if you keep scratching your head, you'll be able to think of an answer to this question.

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "I think we've had a breakthrough."

A "breakthrough" would be if you stopped reading my posts. Haven't you promised to do that? If not, I guess I can always dream.

"Any policy of Bush's is bad."

I've suggested on multiple occasions that Bush did a good thing by holding a gun to Saddam's head. You should know that even if you don't read my posts, since you act as if you have the ability to read my mind. So how did you miss that?

"You: cold, precise, logical, brief."

I'll take the middle two. I don't make a claim about cold or brief.

"Income does not equal profit does not equal revenue."

I didn't say anything about revenue. But since you raised the subject, Halliburton revenue for the recent quarter was $5.2 billion. And as far as terms like "income" and "profit," the latter is a term that often does not appear on financial statements (and it indeed does not appear on Halliburton's quarterly report), because it's often misinterpreted (I guess by fools like you). The term you will typically see instead is net income or operating income. Depending on the situation of the company, one or the other of these two might be more meaningful. In any case, as far as everyday language is concerned when analyzing corporate financial statements, "income" is a pretty good synonym for "profit." Income, or net income, is what's usually known as "the bottom line."

For Halliburton, operating income for the recent quarter was $607 million. Net income was $392 million. In any case, a far cry from Syl's "only a few million a year."

If you would like to become marginally less illiterate about this sort of thing, a good place to start would be here.

"Anybody who thinks that Iran and Iraq are going to suddenly become allies after several hundred years of enmity is showing themselves to be an utter dunce."

I wouldn't be so quick to rule it out, given that other strange things seem to be happening: "in some cases US officials have seen evidence of secular Sunni nationalists and Baathists cooperating with the most extreme Islamists." In other words, our false claims in this regard (that Saddam's people were aligned with OBL's people) have turned into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

So we may yet be able to drive Iraq and Iran together. We seem to be doing a pretty good job of it so far.

"What's next? ... A Sino-Chinese-Russian axis against the U.S.?"

WaPo: "China and Russia will hold their first joint military exercise Aug. 18-25 with nearly 10,000 troops in two sites on China's and Russia's eastern coasts, the Chinese Defense Ministry announced Tuesday. The announcement highlights warming ties between Beijing and Moscow after decades of Cold War hostility. Their reconciliation has been driven in part by mutual unease at U.S. power and a fear of Islamic extremism in Central Asia."

Seven, you're doing that stopped-clock thing again.

jukeboxgrad

Oops, posted those two in the wrong order. Only slightly relevant to the financial discussion.

jukeboxgrad

KIM: "Iraq is not about to become a satrapy of Iran"

For some odd reason the commies at the CIA are not quite as sanguine as you: "The CIA has so far refused to hand over control of Iraq's intelligence service to the newly elected Iraqi government in a turf war that exposes serious doubts the Bush administration has over the ability of Iraqi leaders to fight the insurgency and worries about the new government's close ties to Iran ... Like it or not, he [an Iraqi lawmaker] said, it's time for the Bush administration to accept the fact that Iraq's first democratically elected government comes with a longstanding friendship with the anti-American mullahs next door." (link)

"what do you suppose Saddam would have done after the inspectors had given him a clean bill of health?"

What do you suppose almost 2000 Americans would be doing today if they were alive instead of dead?

"If a people are blessed with self-determination they are less likely to resent their situation in life so much that they will blow themselves and others up."

I guess that why OBL and many of his followers are quite educated and well-off. And I guess that's why this study of hundreds of fighters identified factors that seem completely unrelated to your theory.

jukeboxgrad

TOMMY: "It was corrected before you felt it necessary to even get involved."

I asked you a simple question several days ago. I'm glad you finally decided to answer it.

"my post was clearly directed to someone else."

This isn't the first time you've benefited from a tech-tip from me, so I'll give you another one. If you have something to say that you really don't want anyone else to see or comment on, send it by email.

Anyway, the Andrea Mitchell business is more relevant, and I notice you still can't be bothered to address that.

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "Are you claiming the CIA estimate didn't portray Saddam as a WMD threat?"

Of course it did. Just not as emphatically as some wished, which is why there are some interesting differences between the classified version and the unclassified version.

"Just reading the 'High Confidence' findings"

I realize there's scary language in the NIE. Nice job with your usual MO of throwing up a smokescreen that doesn't address what I said. I pointed out that OSP was set up because the White House was not happy with what it was getting from the CIA. This was in response to your specious claim that "they [OSP as well as CIA] were all saying essentially the same thing." You haven't addressed this.

I also pointed out that the NIE was a highly political document, which is indicated by the language which was scrubbed to create the unclassified version. You also haven't addressed this.

"Intelligence agencies evaluate threats . . . they don't tell what to do about them. They all evaluated Iraq as a continuing WMD threat."

You're being disingenuous to suggest that intelligence agencies don't attempt to evaluate the immediacy of a threat. Especially since you just quoted the NIE doing exactly that: "Iraq could make a nuclear weapon in months to a year."

So by omission, you're admitting that there was no intelligence agency (including our own) that was willing to assert that the threat from Saddam was immediate. Nevertheless, our government repeatedly made statements suggesting that the threat was, indeed, immediate.

"your apparent belief that the inspectors continuing to work would have solved the problem"

I didn't say that "inspectors continuing to work would have solved the problem." My claim is merely that "inspectors continuing to work would have" resulted in a different set of problems and issues, compared with what actually happened, and there is good reason to understand that those problems and issues could have been preferable to the ones we're currently dealing with. In particular, there was no compelling reason to pull the trigger at the moment we did. This is a big problem.

kim

You don't even see how you failed to answer my points with your post. Snark does not fly. It is like ad hominems. It's a hallmark of a weak argument.
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Walter

Related to the topic of today's posting:
Is there anyone here who believes that Lewis Libby should continue to hold his position while refusing to provide Judith Miller an unequivacal waiver to testify about their conversation(s)? If yes, why?

kim

Iraq and Iran are not natural allies, what would you have done with Saddam, and do you seriously not believe that self-determination will ease extremism in the middle east? Get real and address these; don't give me one selected quote, don't diminish those 2.000 soldiers sacrifice, and don't be naive about the motivation of terrorists.
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Tommy V

Walter,

Are you sure Libby has actually refused such a waiver?

Syl

JBG

I can play this game too.

"there was no compelling reason to pull the trigger at the moment we did."

"Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option. "

I'm glad he's in the pilot's seat and not you.

You're looking in the wrong direction for an enemy.


Cecil Turner

"You're being disingenuous to suggest that intelligence agencies don't attempt to evaluate the immediacy of a threat."

Sure they do--hence the estimated time frames for developing a nuke. But again, they don't tell you what to do about it. (Which makes your "so immediate and dramatic that we couldn't wait . . ." formulation nonsensical.) And you know, Juke, when you imply everyone you debate is a liar in virtually every breath, the logical inference is not that they're all liars.

"My claim is merely that "inspectors continuing to work would have" resulted in a different set of problems and issues, compared with what actually happened . . ."

Unless you're contending that an Iraq with fully-functional WMD programs--with Saddam still in power--is preferable to the current situation, I don't see your point. If you are, I don't find it very persuasive.

Syl

Walter

"Is there anyone here who believes that Lewis Libby should continue to hold his position while refusing to provide Judith Miller an unequivacal waiver to testify about their conversation(s)? If yes, why? "

If, as I've read, Miller's lawyer is making this a First Amendment issue, Miller probably would still say the new waiver was co-erced unless it was agreed upon by both Miller's and Libby's lawyers.

In other words, it would do no good for Libby to act unilaterally.

So, sorry, that's not a reason to fire him.

Seven Machos

Walt: what's the difference between the waiver Libby has given and an unequivocal waiver? Miller can talk if she wants. Noobligation to anyone, with or without a waiver, supercedes her obligation to testify.

I would note here that she can try to take to the Fifth (she would fail), or she can lie if she thinks she can get away with it, but she can't refuse to testify.

I love the fact the people are trying to blame the Bush administration because Miller is in jail. It's pretty funny.

Finally, I see that asking the Jukemeister to shut up does not work. Alas...

jukeboxgrad

CECIL: "they don't tell you what to do about it"

You're doing a nice job of sidestepping the original question by repeating something irrelevant. I'm not suggesting it's remarkable that no intelligence agency told us "what to do about it." You're right, that's not their job.

I'm suggesting it's remarkable that no intelligence agency, anywhere in the world (as far as I know) assessed that the threat from Saddam was immediate. That's a simple and material assertion, and I notice that you seem determined not to address it.

Speaking of things you seem determined not to address, I notice you still have nothing to say about the two different versions of the NIE.

"Unless you're contending that an Iraq with fully-functional WMD programs ... "

Unless you're contending that Saddam was close to having fully-functional WMD programs, I don't see your point. Are you still in the business of arguing that those trailers were BW, after all?

Seven Machos

The Jukemeister wishes that Saddam Hussein were back in power. What else can anyone conclude from his raving?

Sorry, Jukemeister. We have a military and we used it. We'll use it again. All of your raving won't change that.

Jim E.

Tommy V wrote to Jim E: “I think anyone can read my writings here and conclude that I am an able and literate fellow.”

Well, that you would somehow equate literacy (are you bragging?) with intelligence kind of gives the game away already. But you also wrote:

“If you want to mention my name as uninformed please be specific.”

Happily. On July 26, you wrote that:
1. no one in the Bush administration (or anywhere) ever argued that Iraq posed an immediate threat to the U.S.;
2. that the pro-war folk only said that Iraq would be a threat in the future, NOT in 2003;
3. that various people called the Iraq invasion (and these are your words) a “ ‘pre-emptive war,’ because the threat was not immediate but in the future.”

This was a revision of history so stark and so ridiculous (not to mention the incorrect use of the word "preemptive war") that I hardly knew how to respond to it. All three points were plainly wrong. Two people, including myself, responded to your “uninformed” post. You mocked the other person, and ignored me.

You can look it up if you want, but I pointed you to an online definition (you really should buy a dictionary, or learn how to use google, seeing how words cause you problems so often) which defines “preemptive war” as a military attack undertaken when an enemy attack is believed to be “imminent.” So inadvertently, your post – by acknowledging correctly that the Iraq war was clearly and repeatedly described as a “preemptive war” – undercut your own point that no one argued Iraq was an imminent threat. George Will, for example, wrote that preemptive war was "the core of the president's foreign policy." June 21, 2003. (And George Will, unlike you, knows the REAL definition of "preemptive war.")

And for good measure, I provided several quotes by Bush administration officials saying that Iraq posed an “imminent,” “immediate,” and “urgent” threat. You can look it up, bub. (One excerpt from one Bush speech doesn't erase the months of fear-mongering that the adminstration carefully conducted.)

I referred to you as uninformed. Contrary to your simulataneously bragging and boo-hooing last lines ("I seriously question the sincerity of anyone who wants to question my intelligence. That's just plain wishful thinking.") I never questioned your intelligence. Perhaps I should have?

Seven Machos

Jimmer -- You have a good memory and you hold a mean grudge. You are also have a tin ear for politics and you don't seem to understand the subtle differences between political speech and political action.

It's a weird mix. I bet you are constantly upset and unhappy about the details of things that you really didn't understand that happened years ago.

Tommy V

Jim E,

You are as bad as anyone here in taking things completely out of context in the hope of changing their meaning. And I did answer you, you chose to ignore it or didn't see the answers.

"1. no one in the Bush administration (or anywhere) ever argued that Iraq posed an immediate threat to the U.S.;"

Again, I am just asking for a quote from Bush where he called it an immediate threat. Just one quote. Just one. (And no, someone putting words in his mouth and then asking about it isn't really convincing).

And that wasn't just any excerpt from a Bush speech, "bub". That was the stated policy of the Bush Administration through the state of the union address. That holds a little more weight than off the cuff remarks. (The speech where he says that Iraq is NOT an immediate threat.)

"2. that the pro-war folk only said that Iraq would be a threat in the future, NOT in 2003;"

You're taking this completely out of context, as the conversation was about David Kay's statement about Iraq being potentially more dangerous than we had thought. The fear was not that Saddam Hussein would attack the US himself, it was that he would give WMD to terrorist sometime in the future and those weapons would be used against us. It was always about Saddam's potential, so Kay's quote was as valid as anything in regards to questions of the war.

Again, that entire conversation was about the validity of Kay's quote, and whether the use of the word "potential" made it meaningless. I argued that it did not, because it was always about what Saddam might potentially do.

"3. that various people called the Iraq invasion (and these are your words) a “ ‘pre-emptive war,’ because the threat was not immediate but in the future.”"

I corrected you before on this. The conversation was not about the definition of a preemptive attack, nor did I ever claim to define such a thing. The conversation was about the fact that the debate itself of a preemptive attack made it clear that no one claimed that Iraq was an immediate threat.

If the US was claiming Iraq was an immediate threat, would there be a national debate about it that stretched for months? No. The question was not th definition of "preemptive war", but the fact that we had a debate about such a war would strongly suggest that the threat was not imminent.

This was made very clear the last time you brought it up and I don't know why you're making me address it again unless you're interested in cheap jabs THAT ARE VOID OF ANY CONTENT.

You can make giddy claims of me being uninformed all you want, but I ask any readers to read my posts and judge for themselves.

Personally, I think you know how inaccurate those accusations are or you would not hold such a bizarre grudge and go so far out of your way to dismiss me by old comments taken out of context.

"The lady doth protest too much."

kim

Let's imagine JukeBoxWorld:

Saddam has given refuge to bin Laden and the two are busily welding the power of a state to the energy of charismatic nihilism. The most corrupt politicians of Iraq, France, Germany and Russia fete each other at parties funded by oil. Kurds are setting off car bombs in Mosul and other cities. Saddam's campaign of extermination against them has foreign Kurds from Turkey and Iran flooding into the country. The Shia have succumbed to the call of their co-religionists and are co-operating with Iran. Saddam now has fifty grotesque palaces instead of just ten. Oh what a champion JBG has picked out to lead the Mideast. Oh, and kites fly.
================================================

jukeboxgrad

SEVEN: "We have a military and we used it"

I think you'd be closer to the truth if you said we used it up.

TOMMY: "no one claimed that Iraq was an immediate threat"

No one except for people such as Bush, Rumsfeld and Fleischer. The quotes were cited to you here and here.

Sorry to confuse you with the facts.

What's really quite remarkable is that you're behaving as if these quotes were never posted. It's not that you're claiming the quotes are falsified, irrelevant or otherwise useless. It's that as far as I can tell you have never made any sign that you even noticed that anyone attempted to respond to you.

Are you using a computer that selectively hides certain sentences? There seems to be a problem with information not reaching the destination.

jukeboxgrad

And let it not go unnoticed that as you blithely ignore what Jim and I said to you (here and here), you put the ultimate flourish on your personal hall of mirrors with this astonishing assertion: "I did answer you, you chose to ignore it or didn't see the answers."

jukeboxgrad

This reminds me of a classic old practical joke: if you want to confuse someone, send them a telegram that says "ignore previous telegram."

I'm just trying to understand how you got this confused. Has someone been sending you telegrams like that? If so, you should ignore them.

kim

You support Saddam(Send shysters, gats and loot), JBG, and you believe Joe Wilson. That's all you need to say. All the rest of your filler is just fluff obscuring those two points.
==========================================

Jim E.

It is really quite astonishing. Tommy V asks for specifics, and I give them. Machos steps up and wonders why I am being so specific, and criticizes me for it. Tommy V then steps up and says I'm taking him out of context, and then goes on to make the EXACT SAME ARGUMENT he said I took out of context. (He just wrote that it was "clear that NO ONE claimed that Iraq was an immediate threat." That's false and I demonstrated that it was false. (emphasis added)) Tommy says he never incorrectly defined "preemptive war" (conveniently ignoring the quote of his that shows he did just that) and then goes on to incorrectly use the term preemptive war to describe the pre-invasion debate. (And what about the George Will quote, Tommy??)

Am I on the blog version of Candid Camera? Can Tommy V really be so dense?

And Tommyboy, just because you say someone took something out of context doesn't make it so. I notice you make that charge with every quote that demonstrates that you are "uninformed."

Cecil Turner

"I'm suggesting it's remarkable that no intelligence agency, anywhere in the world (as far as I know) assessed that the threat from Saddam was immediate."

Yes, and that "there was no compelling reason to pull the trigger at the moment we did." Got it. But again, the available intelligence suggested the WMD threat was fully formed and getting worse. (Especially including the main source for decisionmakers, the NIE.) It's hard to credit the argument that the Administration should have concluded Iraq was not a WMD threat whilst holding the definitve CIA product, which has as its first bullet:

"Iraq is continuing, and in some areas expanding, its chemical, biological, nuclear and missile programs contrary to UN resolutions."
"Unless you're contending that Saddam was close to having fully-functional WMD programs, I don't see your point."

You're suggesting that waiting was the proper course of action, and would lead to "a different set of problems." But each of the after-action reviews concluded that waiting would have resulted in Saddam with reconstituted WMD programs. Hence you're choosing the course of action which the experts say will lead to Saddam with fully-functional WMD. Moreover, when making the "trigger-pulling" decision, policy makers have to work with the available (imperfect) data. And that data didn't just suggest Saddam was "close" to having fully-functional WMD programs, it said he had them (and they were expanding). It's also worth remembering the limitations of intelligence . . . inspectors never saw Saddam's most concerning (BW) program--Iraq finally admitted to it in 1996 after the bulk of it had apparently been destroyed for five years. One could hardly expect an intelligence service to give a precise evaluation of the "immediacy" of a threat they'd never even seen.

Further, the apparent assumption that an "immediate" threat is required for a valid casus belli is not on. An "imminent" threat is the generally accepted standard to claim self-defense, but that doesn't apply to Iraq. We'd already fought a war with Saddam, had no peace treaty, and repeatedly sent military forces to enforce the cease-fire (which required complete divestiture of all WMD and related "programmes"). If we're in agreement that Iraq having WMD programs is a valid reason to invade, then the only argument is about timing. And I see little evidence that waiting would have led to a better result.

kim

I suspect that Saddam, like Hitler's end days belief in a 'secret weapon' altering American and British resolve, expected a Deus ex Machina political solution to allow him to persist in his evil reign, ane from a machine he had labored, and spent, to build.
============================================

Syl

Comprehension and Context, get some.

Saddam was speaking out of both sides of his mouth. One side was saying I'm clean, no worries, the other side was saying I'm big, bad, and dangerous don't mess with me.

We had conflicting intelligence to match.

After 9/11 we realized we no longer had the luxury of sitting back, keeping an eye on Saddam, and waiting for something to happen. The entire region was a dysfunctional mess and had to be dealt with one way or another. The Saddam situation had to be resolved.

Two choices, since the status quo was unacceptable, (1)declare him clean or (2)remove him.

(1) was unrealistic because there was no way to prove he was both clean and had dropped all intentions of creating havoc in the M.E. or against his named enemy, America.

So America decided on (2), removing his regime.

Now comes the imminent vs not imminent bit. It was both. Saddam was a gathering threat to America because of his ambitions, his ties to terrorism, his hatred of America, his past history of little restraint and his prior use of WMD.

But he was not an imminent threat....

until we made known our intentions.

At that point it could be realistically assumed that he became an immediate threat to us and would do whatever possible to prevent our actions or retaliate. And use the WMD we strongly suspected he had to do so.

So he was not an imminent threat until we threatened him, but that was the risk we had to take because he had to be dealt with before he could become even a greater threat.

Both Duelfer and Kay reported that Saddam had kept his ambitions and intentions and retained what was necessary to move forward with his programs when he was able. They found no WMDs at the time of invasion.

And it turned out it was true that Saddam was an immediate threat to us, but it wasn't from WMD.

Our intelligence failure was not that the WMDs didn't exist, our intelligence failure was in not seeing that Saddam, instead, had funded and set up an insurgency to fight us after the invasion.

The existence or not of WMDs before invasion was and is only a side issue.


kim

I want some to see that defending Saddam and Joe Wilson is analogous to defending Hitler and Goebbels.

Oops, now haven't I lost the whole argument by default to the rule about Nazi references?
========================================

kim

Bush called Saddam's bluff about WMD, and Joe Wilson takes advantage of the fact that Saddam had a weak hand. Had Saddam pulled in the kitty on the round Bush called him on, he'd have ended the game when the Lady dealt him the WMD to fill his agenda.

Just another 'cowboy' perspective.
==============================================

kim

Don't people like Joe just not get dealt in, or maybe suffer accidents? His is the role of the kibbutzer, standing with no standing, but wrong.
=================================================

spongeworthy

Not to put too fine a point on it, but for anybody who needs a little lesson on jbg's linking skillz, take a look at this one, his very first in response to a post of mine:

This is what Bush suggested we were going to find: "500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax, 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin, 29,984 prohibited munitions capable of delivering chemical agents, several dozen Scud missiles, gas centrifuges to enrich uranium, 18 mobile biological warfare factories, long-range unmanned aerial vehicles to dispense anthrax;"

He links Kristoff, who cites nobody. Now, does anybody remember Bush telling us he expected to find those weapons in that quantity? Do you notice the quotes? Is he quoting Bush directly?

So I Googled:

"500 tons of mustard gas and nerve gas, 25,000 liters of anthrax"

And I can't find any direct quote from Bush, just lefty sites making the same claim as Kristof. Now I am sure these weapons and these quantities were mentioned as something we could find, or that Iraq may have as much of these weapons as mentioned, but no claim by Bush that we'd find these weapons in these quantities.

I suspect this type of inventory was mentioned because this is what remained unaccounted for under Iraq's obligations to destroy and document. I don't know this and don't claim it's a fact. But I challenge jbg to produce the exact statement where Bush says we'll find those weapons in those quantities. And if he can't, I challenge him to admit he should never have used quotation marks to suggest Bush said this, that to do so was dishonest.

That's today's lesson in reading jbg's long-winded, link-ridden diatribes. As standard practice, he uses links that make it appear he is backing up his claims. In my experience the links do nothing of the kind.

kim

He's an open book lesson on the creation of propaganda.
============================================

TexasToast

Unless you're contending that an Iraq with fully-functional WMD programs--with Saddam still in power--is preferable to the current situation, I don't see your point. - Cecil

This seems to assume the worst possible outcome of continuing the sanctions regime –and the reports make it clear just how much the Iraqi programs had deteriorated. Saddam was unlikely to have “fully-functional WMD programs” at any time in the foreseeable future. Seems to me one must stack worst case upon worst case for a threat to be “imminent”.

Now comes the imminent vs not imminent bit. It was both. Saddam was a gathering threat to America because of his ambitions, his ties to terrorism, his hatred of America, his past history of little restraint and his prior use of WMD. - Syl

The good ole’ Saddam is a very bad man argument. This is all supporters of the administration have left once they cant get past the fact that this was not a war of self-defense. The administration has argued it was – repeatedly -– which is why it intentionally oversold the faulty intelligence on WMDs and why it matters about the “16 words”.

Syl

TT

You're showing willful ignorance by ASSUMING the sanctions would last and Saddam would be kept in his box.

When you drop that ASSUMPTION, the entire picture changes and your arguments become meaningless.

Tommy V

Jim E.

I have absolutely no idea what what you are talking about now. You complain and complain and frankly it's quite clear you're playing games.

The best I can figure is that out of a conversation about "imminent threat" you took the time I wrote "immediate threat" instead and have been harping on that? Wow, I guess you caught me. I did type immediate threat when I meant "imminent threat", about what? A week ago?

You are clever. You got me.

Jime E you are deliberately misunderstanding the line of argument. I suggest you start over.

Does anyone else here think that a year long debate on a premptive war would suggest that the administration was NOT claiming the Iraq threat was imminent?

Does anyone else here think that if the threat was in fact imminent, that the adminstration would not feel required to have a national debate (for a year), and could just act on its own accord?

Jim, YOU misunderstood a single line in a thick debate and have been harping on it like a giddy school girl. Yes, it was poorly worded but I explained it then. It wasn't even an important point! It was a side issue!

It's inanely trivial and it has become your primary thrust with me. Just bizarre.

This is about you wanting to feel smarter than other people. This is about you wanting to feel that you care more than other people, that you are superior to other people.

I guess playing "gotcha" and doing a victory dance is enough for some. Other people don't find it all that satisfying. Especially when their interest is sincere.

Oh, wait, did I misspell something? Better check, that will be a good one!

Tommy V

"The good ole’ Saddam is a very bad man argument."

But, Texas, you then go on and make the good ole’ GEORGE BUSH is a very bad man argument.

Which do you think has more evidence to back it up?

You know, no one here seems to have more information than anyone else. Some people try to manipulate that information for some weird internal gain, but mostly everyone has the same information and they just come to different conclusions with it.

You were willing to wait and hope that Saddamn would be contained, others were not. It turns out we had a lot more time then we thought (Less time, once we got the ball rolling), but a lot of us think that would have just been punting the probelm until later anyway like the US did in 1991.

I really don't think we will know the end results of this for decade or two.

boris

this was not a war of self-defense

After 911 Bush foreclosed on Saddam's open account and canceled his credit. Saddam thought his bribes would protect him or that his insurgents would rescue him but he was wrong on both counts.

Now, link me to your posted outrage that BJ's war on Serbia was not a war of self-defense.

Jim E.

"The best I can figure is that out of a conversation about 'imminent threat' you took the time I wrote 'immediate threat' instead and have been harping on that?"

I have no idea what you're talking about here. I don't understand what the significant difference is between "imminent" and "immediate" is anyways. Seem to be pretty much the same to me. But as I said, I haven't a clue what you're jabbering about here.

"YOU misunderstood a single line."

What did I misunderstand? Please quote the line. Does this have something to do with your "immediate" vs "imminent" stuff quoted above? If so, yeah, you've totally lost me with this new topic.

That you would repeatedly claim that NO ONE ever argued that Iraq posed an "immediate," "imminent" or "urgent" threat in 2003 (in the face of direct quotes from several Bush administration officials using those exact words to describe Iraq's "threat") is hardly an "inanely trivial" point for me to make. It shows proof positive that you are "uninformed" and confused about what a preemptive war is, and the discussion leading up to the invasion of Iraq. That's the central news story of the last 30 months or so, and hardly trivial. George Will, not a Bush hater, wrote correctly that the Bush doctrine was premised on preemptive war. You mock me for agreeing with Will -- who, as I wrote earlier, actually knows the meaning of
"preemptive war," unlike you.

You are the first prowar hawk I've ever encountered that thinks the Bush adminstration decided to attack Iraq because it was NOT a threat.

I await to read about how "confused" you are by my post. You seem to be in that state permanently.

Tommy V

"NO ONE ever argued that Iraq posed an "immediate," "imminent" or "urgent" threat in 2003"

I never said this. You are addressing a conversation where the question was did George Bush ever call Iraq an imminent threat. I still claim he did not. You, by throwing in "urgent" are creating a whole other conversation.

And yes, imminent threat is VERY different from urgent threat.

A state has a right to defend itself immediately against an imminent threat, if Iraq was an imminent threat there would have not been a year long debate. The debate was whether we had a right to invade a country that was deemed a threat but not an imminent threat. (Again, go back to Bush's SOTU speech where he specifically addressed this issue).

I ask again, please give me the quote where Bush says Iraq is an imminent threat. Please. Please. Please.

"George Will, not a Bush hater, wrote correctly that the Bush doctrine was premised on preemptive war."

This is why I say you are confused. NO ONE EVER SAID THE IRAQ WAR WASN'T PRE-EMPTIVE. This was never a question in the conversation (nor the definition of pre-emptive). You don't even know what you're arguing anymore. My whole point was the the coutry debated for a year on the wisdom of a pre-emptive war.

Jim E, you think you are arguing something, but I'm sorry I have to suggest that you go back and start over again. You are very confused about what the topic was. No wonder you confused me, I was giving you the benefit of the doubt.

(Were you the one who made a comment back then whom I suggested to that they should go back to the beginning of the conversation and start again because thet were confused by what was being discussed? Was that you?)

"You are the first prowar hawk I've ever encountered that thinks the Bush adminstration decided to attack Iraq because it was NOT a threat."

NO ONE SAID IRAQ WASN'T A THREAT. What are you talking about? What the hell are you talking about?

The whole conversation is about what kind of threat did different people see Iraq as! Was the threat imminent? Was the war about what Saddam had done or what he potentially might do? Context, Jim E., context. It is extremely important in understanding what one means when thet make a statement.

You say proof positive that I am uninformed and I'm laughing at you. You are arguing with points no one ever made. You got all excited and got so anxious to "win" you don't even know what you're talking about anymore.

I have to admit I did think you were debating trivial things, but I was clearly wrong about that. You're arguing at non-existent things.

You are so convinced everyone else is an idiot and that you're the only was who is informed you've lost all your sense. You are a smart guy, but I think you let a weakness get the better of you on this one.

Syl

Jim E

You're the one who's confused. That's what petty parsing does. Iraq was a future threat, not an imminent one, until he saw we were really ready to depose him. Then the possibility he was an immediate threat became real.

Seven Machos

The trouble with the Left is that the war was never about what the Left wanted the war to be about. No one ever said Iraq was an imminent threat. We thought Iraq was developing WMD. We were wrong. Even so, the war was not about WMD.

The important thing is that Iraq isn't supporting terror any more. Now we have our military out of Saudi Arabia but next to it, and Iran, and Turkey. Hopefully, this war will alter the dynamics of the region forever.

Face it, Lefties: you lost the political debate. "Move on."

Lesley

Tommy - many thanks for reminding me of the excellent work the CIA can do (your post on CIA in Afghanistan). It would seem I tarred an entire agency and its many dedicated professionals with a broad brush and I was wrong to have done so.

Prior to my posting, I had been reading the following on the Strata-Sphere blog:

"The 25-member group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, composed mostly of former CIA analysts along with a few operational agents, is urging employees inside the intelligence agency to break the law and leak any information they have that could show the Bush administration is engineering the release of evidence to match its penchant for war."

That sent me over the edge. So, thanks Tommy for your application of some perspective. Most appreciated.


Jim E.

You wrote: "NO ONE EVER SAID THE IRAQ WAR WASN'T PRE-EMPTIVE."

Relax, shoutboy. I agree with this. You are correct. The Iraq war *was* sold as a preemptive war. On this you, George Will, and I agree.

You then wrote: "The debate was whether we had a right to invade a country that was . . . NOT an imminent threat." (emphasis added by me)

OK, this is where you go off the rails. First, the administration repeatedly argued that Iraq was an "immediate," "imminent" and "urgent" threat. That is a fact. Second, a definition of "preemptive war" (see dictionary.com) is: " Relating to or constituting a military strike made so as to gain the advantage when an enemy strike is believed to be imminent." So your one correct understanding of American history (1. the Iraq war was sold as a preemptive war) negates your incorrect revision of American history (2. no one said Iraq was not an immediate or imminent threat). Points 1 and 2 (each made by you) can't both be true at the same time. "Preemptive war" is premised, by definition, on imminent threat. You have ignored the administration officials' quotes and you are misusing (and misunderstanding) the plain definition of "preemptive war."

P.S. I do not recall being directed back to the top of the thread. That doesn't ring a bell.

Seven Machos

Jimmer: If all of what you just said is true, so what?

kim

Look, guys, Saddam was a pre-imminent threat.
=============================================

Seven Machos

"'Preemptive war' is premised, by definition, on imminent threat."

This isn't true, Jimmer. You are apparently basing your theory on some dictionary definitions (from what I can follow of your argument).

Have you seem the Godfather II? Where the local don in Italy tries to kill young Vito after Vito's father and the don quarrel and Vito's father is killed? That was a PREEMPTIVE strike by the local don.

Preemptive doesn't have anything to do with imminent, or eminent. It means BEFORE.

Cecil Turner

"First, the administration repeatedly argued that Iraq was an "immediate," "imminent" and "urgent" threat."

Those terms are not interchangeable. Only "imminent" allows for a claim of self-defense under the UN charter:

By far the dominant interpretation of international law has been that a nation is not required to wait until an actual attack, but may take steps to pre-emptively defend itself – so long as the attack is imminent.
And the Administration never claimed Iraq posed an imminent threat, nor that the war with Iraq was a matter of self-defense (otherwise, UNSC Resolution 1441 would have been unnecessary). In fact (except for one faux pas by Ari Fleischer), Administration officials were very careful to avoid even using the word "imminent."

TexasToast

Willful ignorance? - as in I’m intentionally unaware of fact? I thought you were talking about assumptions.


Actually Syl, the point I was trying to make was that one must ASSUME all of:

a) UNSCOM was wrong and we were right (woops)
b) the sanctions regime would not last
c) Saddam could restart/rebuild his WMD programs without a reinstatement of the sanctions regime if it were terminated
d) Saddam had the capability (both technologically and logistically) to rebuild/restart an effective WMD program

All are mighty large worst case assumptions (not fact or conclusions of fact), which the reports speak to, and Saddam being a bad man doesn’t change any of them.

Boris

As to Bosnia, that was a collective security decision within the context of NATO. For our Iraq adventure, we had Britain and the “Coalition of the Willing”. We didn’t convince our NATO partners of the “threat”. We didn’t convince the UN of the threat – which is why we didn’t get a second Security Council resolution.

Cecil is right – we were claiming justifications for this war beyond self-defense. They just haven’t held up real well.

Your buddy 7M seems to think it doesn’t matter anyway. We won and you lost - so we are right and you can just shut up. We can go where we want to, kick some booty, remove and install governments, and grab any real estate we want as reparations for our trouble. It’s so very 19th century. Might makes right, manifest destiny and all that rot.

I used to think we had the power to do this – but it seems to be a little more difficult than the “planners” of this little adventure thought it was. Thank God we’re not in Iran as well.

Besides, Milosevic was a very bad man. Isn’t that enough?

PS

(I’ve been called willful before and ignorant before– but this is the first time in a combined form. There are definitely some posters on this board who might fit the criteria. I like it! Have you been in contact with my ex wife?)

Seven Machos

Tex -- So, basically, if it was up to you, the United States would still be 13 states. Or would we be part of Great Britain still?

After all, according to your theory, we have no authority to force political change.

Grow up, dude. We invaded Iraq. We will have a military presence in the Middle East for the rest of your lifetime. You lost the political argument yet you continue to fight it.

Tommy V

Oh my God, Jim E.

One would think you would have learned from my blunder of insisting a word could mean only what one dictionary says it did.

preemptive |prēˈemptiv| adjective serving or intended to preempt or forestall something, esp. to prevent attack by disabling the enemy .

Where is the word imminent?

Your whole argument is that since it was called a preemptive war that that means that the policy of the United Sates was that a threat was imminent?

This is what your hanging your hat on?

I finally see what you're saying, but now I have to wonder why you were making such a big deal about things without addressing what seems the most important thing to you:

The accepted definition of preemptive war within the context of the conversation.

If you are going to hinge EVERYTHING on a definition, define your term so people know what you're talking about, and they can either accept that definition or offer a different one.

I don't accept that preemptive means imminent. It can't in terms of diplomacy, because imminent has important meaning with the United Nations.

And most importantly, this hardly makes me "uninformed" on the topic, in which proving so was your objective in making the point.

"First, the administration repeatedly argued that Iraq was an "immediate," "imminent" and "urgent" threat. That is a fact."

Again, please give me a quote where Bush says the threat is imminent. Please, please, please. I never said anything about urgent. The words are not interchangeable in terms of policy. They mean very differnt things, and give a country very differemt rights (as I have said before).

I have to remind you that this ridiculous offshoot comes from an entirely different conversation in regards to David Kay's quote about the potential danger of Iraq. What you are jumping up and down about has nothing to do with that.

Syl

TT

You just don't get it.

The ONLY thing we were wrong about is that Saddam didn't have stockpiles of WMD and didn't have an active nuclear program.

And if you think Saddam's box was and would continue to work you have to make this perfect storm of assumptions:

-Iraqi babies weren't starving
-Americans were willing to continue to pay the cost of containment
-Americans were willing to have their planes shot at in the no-fly zone
-Americans were willing to keep military bases in the Kingdom (which was the TOP complaint on bin laden's list)
-the French and the Left would stop pushing for sanctions to be lifted
-Saddam had no ties to terrorism and wouldn't in the future
-Saddam would be totally incapable of handing off bio substances to a terrorist and also be unwilling to do so.
-Inspectors would be allowed to come and go as they pleased.
-Root causes of terrorism are of no concern and killing bin laden would solve all our problems.

boris

a collective security decision

In other words you have no problem with war if it's a collective security decision. So there must have been a UN resolution authorizing it ??? No ???

Oh that's right ... NATO ... France and Germany were ok with it so that makes everything allright. Don't expect any trust on national security issues anytime soon.

Tommy V

Syl,

While I disagree with TT mostly, I think the argument that we could have contained Hussein is a defensible one. I don't agree with it, I think he would have broke containment eventually. You clearly don't agree either (your series of assumptions are formidable). But the contention that war is extremely unpredictable and it creates unforseen problems that might be more difficult to deal with than containing Hussein is a valid one.

I just don't quite know why the left keeps debating on whether we should have or not. The valid debate now is how do we succeeed in Iraq.

I think we did the right thing but we won't really know the answer to that for a very long time.

I personally believe that if we fail in Iraq it will be far worse than if we hadn't gone in at all.

I also thinnk that we are able to establish a democracy in Iraq it could lead to a chain of events that could be the world's most decisive turning point since the end of WWII.

What concerns me is the hint in some people that they may want to see us fail in Iraq because it will discredit conservatives, with no foresight at all of what that actually might mean to the world.

Those poeple scare me and they get me riled up. Very short-sighted to say the least.

owl

JBG
I have decided you either a)bought Chris Matthews going to war version or b)you are Chris Matthews. What proof do I have? The #1 person on TV that promoted the myth that the Administration pushed the case that the war was about immediate or imminent threat. Seldom did a show go by that he did not say that or say that most Americans believe that. He just pronounced it as fact. Over and over and over, just like I see here.

I never saw that case made. Instead I tend to agree with Syl's explanation.

Have a question for you though, since you did not like my assumptions on the "outing". This "fake outing" took place in July 2003, when the Swifties were going so strong, MSM was in lockdown, silent mode and Dems were scratching up AWOL for the front pages. Do you not find a lot of activity in July 2003?

How many of the CIA leaks in 2003 (or any year you please) help Bush & Co? Name them, please.

You asked me why none of the reporters have come forward if they knew the info so I guess I would have to say for the same reason they were all in silent, lockdown mode in July 2003 over Swifties. It might even be the same reason we are not hearing about Air America on the front pages. Look how long it took to even hear of the little money transfers at the UN. Both stories almost sitting on the Old Lady's doorstep.

I do not buy this is a legitimate "outing". It would be ironic if one of those CIA/media leaks hit target, proving practice makes perfect.

TexasToast

Wow

JBG seems to answer 15 people per post – so maybe I should give it a shot.
(just kidding , JBG) Lets start with the most cogent and go on from there.

Syl

Quite a hit parade – except …..
-Iraqi babies weren't starving
When are we going to intervene in Darfur? Why didn’t we stop the killing in Rewanda? I suspect you know the answers to these questions, but you are the one bringing up starving babies.
--Americans were willing to continue to pay the cost of containment
I’m sure someone on this blog can get us an up to date figure on the cost of this war.
--Americans were willing to have their planes shot at in the no-fly zone
Soldiers blown up on roadsides?
--Americans were willing to keep military bases in the Kingdom (which was the TOP complaint on bin laden's list)
Military bases and control of the oil supply – it seems we agree these were the real reasons and not WMDs or this democracy eyewash.
--the French and the Left would stop pushing for sanctions to be lifted
Not everyone agreed with sanctions. I think they were working, however, and I don’t think opposition would have led to the lifting of sanctions any time soon.
--Saddam had no ties to terrorism and wouldn't in the future
Surprisingly few – other than the obligatory Palestinian PR checks. Moreover, he was a secularist and no friend of the religious jihadists.
--Saddam would be totally incapable of handing off bio substances to a terrorist and also be unwilling to do so.
Our “friends” in Pakistan were trading nuclear secrets – so how does this make Saddam a special case?
--Inspectors would be allowed to come and go as they pleased.
The reports show how successful the inspectors actually were. Quite successful, actually.
--Root causes of terrorism are of no concern and killing bin laden would solve all our problems.
We have talked about this at length in other threads – so I won’t repeat.

Tommy

I don’t want us to fail – but I also don’t want us to repeat our mistakes. The extent of the threat to this country was consistently overestimated and the cost (both human and financial) of the war option was consistently underestimated. Sometimes war is the only option, but in the light of a sanctions regime that has been shown to have been rather effective in divesting Iraq of WMDs, it seems that other alternatives might have been more effective at far less cost. As you point out, t’ain’t no sure thing in a war.

Boris and 7M

“Respect” on national security means "my way or the highway?" It doesn’t give either of you the slightest pause that the only major power actively supporting us in going to war with Iraq was Britain – the very government whose spy chief recognized that the decision to go to war had already been made and the casus belli was being “fixed”? We have the sovereign right as a nation to go to war - but the right and power does not make it the first option – it should be the last option.

kim

You are right on except the Swifties were August '04. It still shocks me that here in America, the land of the free press, that the only journalist who asked Kerry about Christmas in Cambodia was a comedian, and he was stonewalled.
==================================================

Tommy V

TT,

"I don’t want us to fail – but I also don’t want us to repeat our mistakes. "

I apologize, I did not mean to imply that you did. I haven't read anything of yours that would suggest you wanted that.

Seven Machos

"Fixed around" does not mean "fixed."

Tex:

1. Why do you want to continually preach that the Bush administration was wrong when the argument is over?

2. Why do you try to make it appear that the Bush administration lied and schemed (e.g., "fixed around")? Is it that important to your self-esteem that people whom you disagree with politically be evil and stupid?

owl

You are so correct Kim. My mistake on July. That was AWOL/Memogate campaign.

Now I just need someone to correct me on the front page CIA/Democratic leak campaigns. Which ones helped Bush & Co? Need help here.

It may seem that I am trashing CIA. I apologize but you had to be blind not to see that an element of the CIA waged a political campaign against the White House. I consider Wilson to be part of that story.

kim

The whole US intelligence apparatus was at war with itself and the CIA just had its share of the battles. Let's hope help is on the way.
===============================================

boris

It doesn’t give either of you the slightest pause that the only major power actively

Respect my ass. NATO bribes, Russian bribes and Oil for food don't give you the slightest pause? If that's your criteria then what's with the "self defense" crap? All's fair all the time?

Sanctions were coming apart at the seams. France, Russia and the UN were bribed. If your hindsight were 20/20 it would be one thing, it isn't.

The Sunday Telegraph’s Con Coughlin, Saddam's biographer, got hold of a top secret memo made available by Iraq's interim government which explicitly linked Saddam's regime to Mohammed Atta, the terrorist mastermind behind 9/11, and the Palestinian terrorist Abu Nidal. Written to Saddam by the former head of Iraq's intelligence service, it contained the following incendiary passage:

'Mohammed Atta, an Egyptian national, came with Abu Ammer (an Arabic nom-de-guerre - his real identity is unknown) and we hosted him in Abu Nidal's house at al-Dora under our direct supervision. We arranged a work programme for him for three days with a team dedicated to working with him . . . He displayed extraordinary effort and showed a firm commitment to lead the team which will be responsible for attacking the targets that we have agreed to destroy'.

Note the date: July 1 2001. Note the phrases 'the targets that we have agreed to destroy' and 'under our direct supervision'

I don't care about your agenda truth because you can't be trusted. As long as we see such different reality, the saftey of me and mine will not be in the hands of the clueless.

Salman Pak ... airliner hulk, bus hulk, train cars.

Tommy V

Boris,

That is pretty explosive stuff from the Coughlin. It's not anything I've heard before. Do you have any opinion on its reliability?

Jim E.

Does the ‘T’ in Tommy stand for “tendentious”?

You wrote that I should “define your term so people know what you're talking about.” In fact, I did several times; back on July 26th and on this longish thread I repeatedly gave precise definitions of “preemptive war,” a term you first brought up. I even made it clear – with no objection from you – that I was treating “urgent,” “immediate,” “ongoing,” etc. etc. as synonyms to “imminent” because they mean roughly the same thing in everyday life. Given the context of our conversation – you’re so big on “context” after all – and the lack of objection from you, it was clear where I was coming from, especially since we were talking about how Bush sold the war to the American public. Heck, an alleged lawyer on this thread used plot points from the Godfather 2 in an attempt to help you out. That’s the kind of conversation we’re having.

Then all of a sudden, you start relying on legalese appropriate for UN ambassadors. Out of nowhere, the word “imminent” has a precise legal definition for you that is sacred and different from all of the synonyms. Talk about moving the goalposts! Seems that an earlier post by Cecil gave you inspiration for new talking points. (And for the record, I’m not disagreeing about the apparent legal significance of “imminent.” I’m objecting to your sudden embrace of legal niceties in a conversation thus far devoid of such technicalities. It came out of the blue, and I haven't been writing anything with a law book at my elbow.)

But even with your Clintonesque swerve, you’re still wrong. Bartlett, McClellan, and Fleischer speak on behalf of Bush, and each of them described Iraq as an “imminent threat.” (Rummy gets an honorable mention for saying “I’m not so certain” that Iraq should not be described as an “imminent threat.”) So you remain incorrect to say that the Bush folk weren’t telling the American public that Iraq was an “imminent threat,” because they did just that. They used the exact word, not to mention synonyms.

Finally, seeing how your writing is apparently bound (at least in recent hours) by international legalese, the term “preemptive war” IS associated with “imminent” attack/threat. Your account of U.S. actions is better described as preventive, rather than preemptive, war. There’s a difference, Mr. Ambassador.

With your lawyerly turn, this lame-o conversation has become even more tedious than before.

Seven Machos

Jimmer wants to argue the difference between "preventive" and preemptive." That's awesome. You know you have won hands-down when the other side starts fanatically arguing semantics.

Ahhhh, sweet victory...

Jim E.

SM,
The entire point of my post was the Tommy started in with technicalities out of nowhere. But, hey, I'm sure Tommy had you at "hello" anyways.

Tommy V

Yeah, Jim, that one was pretty weak.

Not only did I miss your "precise definition" of preemptive war, everyone else did as well. The first time you gave it it pretty much cleared everything up. You wanted to be smug about it instead and you got embarrassed like I did when I tried to be smug about a definition.

You still haven't given me a Bush quote where he called Iraq an imminent threat. (Don't bother, it doesn't exist)

"Out of nowhere, the word “imminent” has a precise legal definition"

Actually, no. No one here ever defined imminent so frankly I don't know what you're referring to. You're confused again.

There was no swerve, no moving of the goal post, no legalese at all. Nothing along those lines. In fact, my line of reasoning had a conistency yours failed to have.

I, the so-called uninformed, just happen to know that it was never policy to call Iraq an imminent threat, because that would have been a whole other conversation with the United Nations. There's no legalese there. That's policy. And that's what we were discussing. Because of this I knew the challenge of coming up with a quote from Bush with him using the phrase imminent threat would be fruitless.

In fact, in the state of the union address, Bush made a point of saying it wasn't an imminent threat.

You could have easily said other things to make your point, but you wanted to be cutesy and call other people uninformed.

"I even made it clear – with no objection from you – that I was treating “urgent,” “immediate,”"

Are you sure about that? Do you even read my posts? I kept asking for a quote on imminent threat from Bush. Made it clear, urgent didn't count. You're grasping. Desperately. You're hoping people don't go back to look (they won't) and it's a cheap ploy.

"back on July 26th and on this longish thread"

Yes, you went back to a conversation on July 26th to prove how uninformed I am. About a line I wrote that had very little to do with the conversation at the time. You had a definition you got stuck on and you wanted to harp how other people were using it differently, and how stupid they were. On a matter of very little importance to the discussion.

I did this, but I fessed up two or three post later! You're still trying to make your point and it's what, two weeks?

How do you feel about it now that it's been exposed whom exactly is less informed?

But still my favorite line is this (it may be my favorite line in all my time on blogs):

"Then all of a sudden, you start relying on legalese appropriate for UN ambassadors."

A man whose WHOLE POINT is a definition, and the proper use of a word, then turns around and complains that someone is maybe using "legalese" in discussing the ramifacations of using a particular word.

That one is priceless.

Jim E, you had a much higher standing before this. This one was all about your ego and you just got kicked in the nuts.

Cecil Turner

"Then all of a sudden, you start relying on legalese appropriate for UN ambassadors. Out of nowhere, the word “imminent” has a precise legal definition for you that is sacred and different from all of the synonyms."

Sorry Jim, but that won't fly. When discussing go-to-war decisions, there are only two acceptable reasons under the UN charter: self-defense or collective security under a Chapter VII UNSC resolution (see articles 42 & 51). An "imminent" threat is the standard formulation for a claim of self-defense under article 51, and distinct from other meanings. (It's a refinement of earlier "Just War" theory.) The argument over "imminent" threat speaks to precisely that point (whether the war is "jus ad bellum," or justifiable), and precision in word usage is required for a sensible discussion. (In fact, I'd assumed folks meant "imminent" when they wrote "immediate" above, and had just gotten the word wrong.)

Jim E.

"Not only did I miss your 'precise definition' of preemptive war, everyone else did as well."

Well, I did define it repeatedly. I refered to two different online sources for your convenience: wikipedia and dictionary.com I doubt "everyone else" really gives a crap about the minutia of our conversation, so your repeated oversight of my clarity is your fault, not their's.

"The first time you gave it it pretty much cleared everything up."

Waaahh? On the 26th? Why, then, have you been so damn confused all of the time? There's not overwhelming evidence that much of this is yet clear to you.

"No one here ever defined imminent."

Of course, I was referring to the apparent legal import of the actual word to the UN. I'm just taking your word for it that the actual use of "imminent" in international relations is different than using synonyms that mean the same thing. You couldn't possibly be more nitpicky (although perhaps I'm now giving you a run for your money?).

I like how you think Joe 6-pack would realize the different between being told Iraq is an "immediate" versus "imminent" threat. As if.

"How do you feel about it now?"

Actually, I'm feeling fine, especially since your inability to ever acknowledge, explain away, or address the various Bush officials (who speak on behalf of the president) using the word "imminent" to describe Iraq is quite amusing, seeing how it undercuts your entire no-one-ever-said-imminent argument. But thanks for asking.

"someone is maybe using 'legalese'"

Ah, so you do admit shifting from casual, everyday understandings of words to legalese. Thank you for helping me make my point.

"Jim E, you had a much higher standing before this. This one was all about your ego."

Funny, you (not to mention Machos, kim) have repeatedly psychoanalyzed me as if my disagreeing with you is a mental disorder or self-esteem issue I have. I guess this means I'll have to cry myself to sleep seeing how I've lost your respect. I'm losing count how often that has happened. (Oh shit, you wrote about my "standing," not "respect." KNowing your MO, you'll emphatically claim "standing" and "respect" are completely different concepts. Completely!)

While you pat yourself on the back, read these over:
"Absolutely." Ari Fleischer confirming a reporter's specific question which asked if the U.S. went to war over "imminent threat." May 7, 2003
"This is about imminent threat." McClellan, Feb 10, 2003
“Of course he is.” Dan Bartlett answering a question of whether Saddam represents an “imminent threat.” Jan 26, 2003
"Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent. . . . I would not be so certain. And we should be just as concerned about the immediate threat from biological weapons. Iraq has these weapons." Rumsfeld, Sept, 2002

Let's review: Tommy V says in summer 2005 that the Bush adminstration never said the threat was imminent. Yet I have quotes showing the exact opposite. Hmmmm. Instead of having your own "Mission Accomplished" moment, might you acknowledge the little problem here? Selling the war to the American public (which is what we'd been talking about until late today) is different than discussing UN language.

Jim E.

Cecil,
In fairness, if you look at my very next sentence, which you fail to quote, I wrote: "And for the record, I’m not disagreeing about the apparent legal significance of 'imminent.'"

Tommy never mentioned UN language or resolutions (in discussions with me, anyways) until your post appeared. He conveniently changed course from a general how-did-the-adminsitration sell the war to the U.S. public to whether Bush uttered a certain word in his speeches. That's what's lame. I'm taking your word (and Tommy's) on the UN point. (NOt that this administration really cares a lot of UN niceties -- but that's another conversation.)

Tommy V

Again, Jim, just give me the Bush quote. That's all I'm asking.

That's it. And that's all I've been asking for a while now.

Just one quote.

Just one.

If you think those three quotes of yours are somehow tatamount to Bush saying them that's your own criteria, not mine.

If this is an argument on whether administration officials ever used the term imminent, then you are correct that it was used once, and apparently two questions that used the term imminent were affirmed.

But over a year long international debate over a war, 3 times?

If I said no administration official ever used the term "imminent" then I mispoke and I stand corrected. I was clearly wrong.

But that really wasn't the conversation, was it? The conversation was US policy and the message of the administration to the American public. That was the context. And 3 off the cuff, off message remarks? 3? And none by Bush? You and I both know that if it was policy and the administration message that it would be as simple as googling to get hundreds of administration quotes using that term, nor would Bush have stated the opposite in the State of the Union address. You said that didn't count - a bizarre statement coming from people who emphasise the use of the infamous "16 words".

And all of this is the so-called "proof positive" that I am uninformed? Really?

Again, If I said no administration official ever used the term "imminent" then I mispoke and I stand corrected. I was wrong.

Now... Really... Is that what this was about? Really? Again, I have to ask the same question, is this what you were hanging your hat on? That? Those three quotes?

I don't know. Seems kind of petty to me. Saying that your bouncing around this conversation is clearly an ego thing for you is not exactly going out on a limb.

And one more thing, Jim, you keep bringing up my reference to the UN ramifacations of using "imminent threat" like I'm fighting unfair or something. It is only relevant as to why Bush never used the term. Why do you think I keep asking for the quote? Because I know it doesn't exist.

This is why I know it's about ego with you. Because you think bringing up facts not brought up before is "lame",

Again, it's an odd complaint for someone arguing over proper definitions and specific wording of statements outside of their proper context. Yes, your complaint of "lame" "legalese" is very strange indeed.

Seven Machos

It's like this for the Jimmer. You describe the forest. You give facts about it and you make judgments about it that are profoundly correct and not disputable.

However, you called that oak tree there an elm, and you got its height wrong. So Jim pounces on you for that and won't ever let it go. Ever.

Tommy V

Seven, let me humbly offer up a better comparison.

T: That's an elm forest there.
J: No it's not. It's an oak forest.
T: It's an elm forest.
J: It's Oak.
T: I don't think there's a single tree oak tree in that forest.
J: Not a single one?
T: No, there's not a single oak tree in there.
j: There are in fact 3 oak trees. Here they are. Here, here and here.
T: Dude, it's elm forest.
J: You are uninformed.
T: I'm telling you...
J: You said there was not a single oak tree in there.
T: It's elm forest. There thousands of trees in there.
J: That's not what you said. You said there wasn't a single oak tree in there.
T: But it's elm forest.
J: That's not what you said. You said...
T: I was wrong about that, that was not really my point. My point is that is an elm forest.
J: There are 3 oak trees in there.
T: That's doesn't make it an oak forest. It's still an elm forest.
J: What credibility do you have? You said there wasn't a single oak tree in there.
T: I was wrong about that, but that doesn't make it an oak forest.
J: You are uninformed. No one should hear what you have to say. I am only here to correct your babbling.
T: It's an elm forest.
J: But you said there wasn't a single oak...
T: Look, the reason why all but three of those trees are elms is because the American Tree Association says an oak forest is defined as...
J: What? You can't bring up definitions now!!!!

MJW

I see some posters are beating the fixed around drum again. I always wonder if they actually believe "fixed around" means manipulated, as in "the fix is in," as opposed to "focused on," or if they just hope other people will believe it. In any case, I did a google search for the target -downing "fixed around" -"fixed around the policy" in order to find non-Downing Street references.

I got 83 pages of matches, mostly Of the "fixed around 40 bugs,""collar fixed around its neck," or "the price was fixed around one million dollars" variety. A few Downing Street references also slipped through.

Here are some examples with focused or similar meaning (with links to the sources):

Since then, my goals have been much fixed around singing, and Bach especially.

Most biologists explain bust and boom cycles as being fixed around the size of lobster harvests.

The aim of the propaganda is usually fixed around goals to bolster, negate or alter public opinions on issues of the day.

He travels extensively, but his schedule is fixed around his own appearances;

I am more interested in the idea of a template that is fixed around an ideology and a process rather then a group of people collaborating

The world for me was fixed around them, and there was nothing in it for me to hate

The individual characteristics of these period piece potboilers were
fixed around
the personality of their central protagonists.

The entire plot is fixed around the phone booth where Farrell's character is held hostage by a psychotic sniper.

there are different numbers and I don't want to get fixed around a particular number

Saidenberg cites such definitive examples as Goan Atom by Caroline Bergvall, a book that she says "deals with subjects that refuse to be fixed around a knowable gender identity,"

His theory was fixed around corned-beef hash with poached egg.

As the nation's attention has been fixed around a hospice bed in Florida, all of us have been forced into an uneasy but important discussion about what life is:

Under the Tudors, aristocratic culture was fixed around the throne,

There was only one example of the manipulated meaning:

The report criticized the internal investigations into the deaths of high profile animals at the zoo, saying the facts were often fixed around preconceived conclusions.

Sounds pretty good, till you find out it's from a Florida news article written on July 8, 2005, so it was almost certainly echoing the wording in the Downing Street memo.

Cecil Turner

"Tommy never mentioned UN language or resolutions (in discussions with me, anyways) until your post appeared."

That may be, but in a discussion of whether a casus belli is sufficient, "imminent" is a critical concept, and "immediate" is meaningless. This is especially apparent when one considers the long history of "Just War" theory and numerous treaties requiring pacific settlement of disputes over the last century (e.g., Hague, Versailles, Kellogg-Briand)--culminating in the current agreements on use of force in the UN Charter. It's further underscored by the fact that we prosecuted Nazi leaders as war criminals for waging "aggressive war" under precisely the same theory, which gave rise to the current agreement under international law.

"(NOt that this administration really cares a lot of UN niceties -- but that's another conversation.)"

Actually, I think it's the same conversation. If the Administration had actually tried to sell this as a war of self-defense under article 51 of the UN Charter, it'd clearly have been improper. (However, since the President specifically rejected that requirement in public statements--including the SOTU--it's hard to make that case.) Which is what most critics seem to be getting at with the "imminent" argument. Otherwise the distinction between varying degrees of immediacy implied by the intelligence doesn't make a lot of sense, and the discussion bogs down over semantics of "preemptive" or "preventive" war.

boris

Do you have any opinion on its reliability?

Not really. Some claim that Atta was in Florida the whole summer and therefore this must be another instance from a thriving market in forgeries. OTOH there is a lot of assertion from lefthink , Saddam and Osama wouldn't work together because one's a secular dictator and the other's a religious fanatic and of course everybody knows those two types don't get along.

Jim E.

Tommy V,

What you admitted you were wrong to IS exactly the original point of this lame thread.

And when I made my charge that you were uninformed, I was treating "imminent" as a synonym to "immediate" and "urgent," which the Bush administration, including Bush, said repeatedly. I had no idea you were segregating "imminent" (the actual word, not the meaning of it) as something special. Nonetheless, you still had to admit you were wrong.

You wrote that our conversation was primarily about "the message of the administration to the American public." I agree. We weren't talking about the language of international relations. For you to think you are still mostly correct, that means that you're arguing that the American public would see a world of difference between the administration using the word "imminent" and the rest of these phrases (which it also used to describe Iraq): "mortal threat," "urgent threat," "immediate threat", "unique threat." The American public wouldn't -- and didn't -- differentiate between those phrases. And you're the one accusing me of missing the forest for the trees? Good one. You couldn't slice it any thinner. The administration tossed around those phrases all of the time (not to mention their talk of WMD, which was intended to scare the be-jeezus out of everyone).

And you love that Bush phrase from that speech. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the excerpt you pasted: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"

You're telling me that in the phrase Bush is saying Iraq is NOT an imminent threat? He's saying we *need to act as if* Iraq is an imminent threat. There's really no difference, particulalry if we're talking about the American public and not lawyers at the UN.

Do you usually do victory dances before admitting you were wrong?

kim

Well, no, he was saying we won't know when Iraq will be an imminent threat. That spoke to Saddam's unpredictability and stupidity, which were important parts of the equation. We will know, for instance, when Iran becomes an imminent threat. So will Israel. But Europe won't.
=========================================

Appalled Moderate

For heaven's sake, are you people still arguing about this? Leave "Bush lied" and "imminent threat" to the historians -- you aren't going to settle it here. (It mattered in 2004 -- when figuring out whether to reelect the guy. It just doesn't matter much now.)

What matters now is that we accomplish something in Iraq for our billions, and don't leave Iraq a teaming anarchic mess that will really endanger us. If the lefties and the righties can get focused on that, the conversations might seem just a touch more relevent.

Tommy V

"The American public wouldn't -- and didn't -- differentiate between those phrases."

I just don't think you can have it both ways, Jim. You can't argue over the precise definition of a word (and use it as "proof-positive someone is uninformed) and then in the next sentence say these words are interchangeable and how petty one is for using "legalese" in defining a word.

And again. No one defined "imminent threat" in the conversation. The only reason the UN ramifcations are relevant are because that's how I know Bush never used the word. It would have signified a policy change.

I think the amount of urgency the Bush administration sold is debatable (Though not in reference to the orginal discussion where it was about Iraq becoming more dangerous as time went on) and reasonable people could disagree just how manipulative they were (Though it seems hard to get people to admit it difference between knowing there are not WMDS and thinking there are WMDs). But you chose to call me uninformed and used 3 quotes and a single definition of a word as "proof-positive".

I took offense but you kept arguing the point! So yes, I felt a certain glee when I got you chasing your own tail in trying to prove how "uninformed" I am.

(The ultimate irony is that this is from a converation that you said "No one" thought Iraq was more dangerous, and I gave you a quote where David Kay said that he did! I even mentioned that I wasn't sure I agreed with him!)

This line of query was dead from the 26th, Jim. You brought it up again to make personal jabs in an effort to dismiss people and what they might say in the future. You weren't "right" then and you're not "right" now.

kim

Yeah, and Saddam was more dangerous than we imagined him. He was(is?) stupid, vicious, psychotic, wealthy, and was gonna' get his hands on WMD and use them, I predict. He was also unpredictable.
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Wilson/Plame